It may have not been on the verge to win the titles. It may have suffered a double work supplying two teams throughout the season. For sure Honda has been the PU manufacturer that has improved the most during the season: clearly the level they were starting from ‘helped’ a constant growing of performances, where all specifications of engines brought during the year were intended to help Verstappen and Albon in being in the middle of the battle together with Ferrari and Mercedes.
Even if the “penalty-free” has still to be reached out, the reliability level reached was able to move the attention of the engineers to the pure performance level: speaking to Autosport.com Toyoharu Tanabe claimed that this "[…] means we can develop positive items, not a countermeasure test or bench test. Now we can put more time to improve our performance. Then we can think about the more detail with each area".
Max Verstappen, renown for attacking Renault when the engine retirements were countless, has been pleased and satisfied by the work carried out from the Japanese technicians: "So I am very, very impressed with the way they are working. I just really, really enjoy working with them. They are very professional” replied to the British magazine.
And the work for 2020 is already begun: "I asked the engineers and the mechanics here, 'What can we do for next year? Please review what we did this year. What was a concern, what was a problem, in terms of the trackside management?'” – added Tanabe – “Then we can make a list, discuss it internally, discuss with the R&D department, and then bring the idea for next year".
Moreover, Honda stands out as its behaviour with their relationship towards customer team Toro Rosso (from now on Alpha Tauri); unlike Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault "We support the two teams equally - engine specification, the number of engineers and mechanics, the scale, all equal. When we started this year, we mixed the people [from 2018] and then brought extra support to make the same [level in both teams]. We'll keep the same style, for next year and always".